A gardening enthusiast, environmentalist, or a caring father, on our quest to unveil Product Manager – Sandeep Rohilla’s passion for gardening, we discovered the various facets cushioned softly behind Sandeep’s tranquil personality.
A Pastime turned into Passion
Three years back, Sandeep began gardening by planting herbs and small plants in pots on his rooftop. Little did he know that along with the plants, his passion for gardening also grew with each passing day. Sandeep gives the credit for his love for gardening to his wife. He shares that she motivated him to start planting medicinal plants like Aloe Vera, Tulsi, etc. at home to naturally purify the air and create a healthy environment for their son – Mahir.
Today Sandeep maintains over a thousand planters and spends his morning hours basking in the glory of his little creation, irrespective of hot or cold weather. Every morning from 5 am to 7 am, Sandeep upkeeps his garden and meditates there to self-heal.
His wife also supports him in the daily gardening tasks like watering the plants and safeguarding them from monkeys. That brings us to an excellent tip from Sandeep; he grows a lot of cactus plants to restrict monkeys from destroying the terrace garden. Sandeep is an ardent fan of cactus and succulents as they do not require regular watering and belong to the sustainable future of gardening in metropolitans like the Delhi NCR, which are already marred by the water crisis.
He also loves growing roses of different varieties, besides seasonal flowering plants that infuse vibrant colors with each changing season. Sandeep also believes in organic farming and grows vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and a variety of herbs to reap fresh and organic produce.
Facing Challenges, Learning, & Winning Competitions
As an amateur gardener, Sandeep had his share of challenges. He shares that due to lack of professional know-how, he would grow summer plants in winters, and vice-versa. He gained knowledge about plants, plant care, and nutrition via YouTube videos, books, blogs, and a thriving community of fellow gardening enthusiasts.
Sandeep launched his blog in 2019 and named it after his son. He shares his gardening exploits on Facebook, from where he got the attention of the Floriculture Society of Ghaziabad. He was approached by none other than the society’s president – Mrs. Rama Tyagi to join it and expand the impact he wants to make to the environment. Sandeep has organized, participated, and won several accolades in Flower Shows and competitions in 2019 and 2020.
In the district-level competition, Sandeep won a total of 17 prizes in two different categories, of which 7 were for the First position, another 7 for the second position, and 3 for the Third position for various parameters. He also won the First Prize in the individual gardener category and a 2nd runner up Overall at the District level.
Sandeep actively participates in the Green plantation drives in society parks organized by the municipal corporation of Ghaziabad.
Sandeep aims to reach out to a broader audience and plans to launch his YouTube channel for spreading the knowledge and gardening skills he’s acquired over the past three years. He also wants to hone his gardening skills further to participate in All-India level flowering competitions in the times to come.
What drives this Gardenist
There are three things that inspire Sandeep to nurture his garden, the first being his love and care for his son. With air pollution breaching safety levels and taking a toll on the health and immunity of children and adults alike, Sandeep feels that we must create a healthy environment around our dwellings, which is in our immediate control.
He also shares that gardening has helped him cope with stress and depression. Years back, he was suggested by his doctor to take up a hobby, and he inclined towards gardening. Ever since the size of his garden has expanded, and that of his medicine box has only shrunk. He has little to no dependency on his depression-related medicines anymore.
The last thing that drives this avid gardener to follow his gardening routine is his sense of responsibility towards the environment. Sandeep feels that if each citizen starts growing plants, many of the environmental issues can be sorted on their own. However, what disheartens Sandeep is that people fail to realize the power of nature and do not take up simple and sustainable hobbies like gardening.
A message for Budding Nature-enthusiasts
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse,” said Jim Rohn.
Not having a dedicated garden area to start gardening is an excuse that Sandeep will ever buy. He states that there is a wide variety of pots and planters in the market today that can be used for terrace or balcony gardening.
On the other hand, he states, “one can also adopt a roadside or a corner in a nearby park to contribute to the environment while pursuing gardening as a hobby.” Sandeep’s thoughts remind us of a famous quote by Spencer W. Kimball – “Wherever you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul.”
Sandeep also suggests budding gardening enthusiasts to learn the basics of gardening, understand the lifecycle of seasonal plants, and plant care from self-help and DIY videos on YouTube. “When you understand your plants, the climate they thrive in, the nutrition and sunlight they need, etc.… you save yourself from disappointment,” he states.
“Start with herbs as they are quick to grow and require minimal gardening skills. When you reap your first produce, the feeling is extremely gratifying and motivating. You can grow parsley, rosemary, holy basil, or coriander on your window sill; it will not only beautify the space but also encourage everyone around to take up gardening, even if in a minuscule way,” he adds.
For aspiring gardeners and enthusiasts, the most vital skill that Sandeep wants to teach is patience. “Plants take their own sweet time to grow or bloom. Respect their growth cycle because gardening is all about patience,” he concludes.
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